I am on a plane to Italy finally writing about my Nampantan Hall Mindfulness Retreat experience.The day before the start of the Retreat, a problem arose that nearly convinced me that I should stay at home and sort it out. Instead, I decided to go following my daughter's encouragement. Somehow I knew that staying at home was not the cure and would not address the source: myself.
The Retreat had run smoothly, nothing felt difficult. I enjoyed every day; the silence, the compassion meditations and the time spent mindful walking and stretching.The meals were delicious and I truly enjoyed sitting together as a community. The problem I brought to the retreat was gradually shrinking. Mindfulness had helped me to increase the confidence I needed in order to attract the solution. I was quite pleased with myself.
On Friday, the last day, I woke up to a different mood: I was grumpy, anxious and unsettled. An awareness of fear surfaced. My mind was desperately looking for a space where I could feel safe and looking for a solution to the impermanence of life.
As I was lost in these thoughts my eyes were screening the outside landscape of Nampantan Hall Grounds. A strong wind was shaking the trees whose branches were bent towards the ground, grey clouds were running in the sky ready for the rain. For a moment I realised my inner state matched the external landscape. I started feeling slightly worse. Out there it did not feel safe. I focused on my breathing and it helped, but the wave of fear would return, so i decided to surrender to it.
An insight opened my awareness whilst I was watching this mighty nature shaken by the wind and dulled by rainy, grey clouds: the wind blows today and not tomorrow and so does the rain. The next day it will be sunny again.
I could feel peace inside me and a sense of life that was extended beyond the confines of my self.